Connect. Learn. Share.

Who we are

The Private Refugee Sponsor Network (Ontario), also known as PRSN, is an incorporated non-profit organization that assists private refugee sponsor groups – whether faith-based, community-based, or a group of five. We help sponsors connect, learn and share.  

 

Our goal is to promote and ensure the successful post-arrival settlement of newcomers by private sponsors in partnership with many organizations in the refugee settlement sector.  

 

We do not sponsor refugees, find sponsors or serve individual newcomers. We do not help with immigration issues.

Play Video
What We Do

We offer services such as networking and training at no cost. Any private sponsor group in Ontario can become associated with PRSN by completing the Contact Us form, to receive information about our activities.

 

We are the go-to source for information-sharing, and problem-solving around specific post-arrival issues, as well as training to develop best practice. Experienced sponsors can mentor first-time sponsors with immediate answers to pressing issues.

 

We recognize there are gaps in support services for private sponsors. Settlement agencies and organizations that serve government-assisted refugees are often overwhelmed and are unable to assist private sponsors in a timely way, but we can help.  And, we are committed to building new relationships and maintaining existing ones with organizations in the refugee sector.

 

If you are a private sponsor in another province or territory, we would love to talk about how you can set up a network in your jurisdiction. Get in touch with us at info@refugeesponsornet.ca

Join us

We all benefit when we connect, learn and share. We have an opportunity to close the gaps in support to private refugee sponsors when we work together. We have an opportunity to create stronger relationships with settlement agencies and sponsorship agreement holders (SAHs), and we identify what we need to do to ensure best practice. We will be better able to demonstrate the important role we play in settling newcomers in Canada, whether we are in an urban or a smaller or rural community. We are here for you.

Our History

Between November 2015 and December 2016, close to 40,000 Syrians arrived in Canada.  Forty-five per cent of those newcomers were privately sponsored. Data collected from a variety of sources documented the challenges in both government- assisted refugee settlement and settlement by private sponsors.

 

Private sponsors who were looking for immediate answers to challenges found them by working together — sharing experiences and determining those areas they needed to learn more about.  Experienced sponsors began to mentor first-time sponsors on post-arrival issues leading to a resource around best practice. An informal network was born.

 

Since 2016, more than 400 sponsor groups working together have become a formal Ontario provincial network. There is potential, using this model, to grow this network concept across Canada in other provinces and territories.

Our Leadership

We are a volunteer driven Network that responds to the needs of those who participate. A ten-person board of directors, representative of Network members and those from the refugee settlement sector provide governance and financial accountability.

Our Leadership

We are a volunteer driven Network that responds to the needs of those who participate. A ten-person board of directors, representative of Network members and those from the refugee settlement sector provide governance and financial accountability.

Services

The Network offers online workshops to address issues identified by private sponsors. Since 2016, we have offered over 20 workshops chosen to meet immediate need around issues of culture, accommodation, employment, education, ESL, among others.

 

Participants have appreciated the practical tips, expert advice and counsel, and input from individuals with lived experience. They came to the event with questions and went home with answers. They avoided pitfalls, accessed new ideas and new resources.

 

Our 2022 series of two-hour, online workshops include:

Workshops

The Network offers online workshops to address issues identified by private sponsors. Since 2016, we have offered over 20 workshops chosen to meet immediate need around issues of culture, accommodation, health and well being, employment, education, ESL, among others. Participants have appreciated the practical tips, expert advice and counsel, and input from individuals with lived experience.  They came to the event with questions and went home with answers. They avoided pitfalls, accessed new ideas and new resources.

Saturday, February 26, 10:00 am — 12:00 noon

Addressing settlement challenges in small and/or rural communities

  • Two-hour online workshop focused on generating new thinking around problem-solving
  • Learn more about how to find solutions and link to broader resources
  • Explore issues such as housing, transportation, ESL and employment
  • Join a breakout room following the workshop to connect, learn and share
Saturday, May 14, 10:00 am – 12 noon

Affordable Housing for Newcomers

  • A two-hour online workshop focused on how to search for and secure housing that is financially viable for sponsorship groups in the first year and sustainable for newcomers at Month 13 and beyond
  • Explore new and alternative solutions
  • Join a breakout room following the workshop to connect, learn and share
Saturday, September 24, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Financial Planning for Newcomers

  • A two-hour online workshop focused on helping newcomers become financially confident
  • Learn best practices for financial management
  • Understand how to provide guidance when funds are limited, while recognizing personal autonomy
  • Acquire the tools to open the conversation around creating and managing family budgets
  • Identify community resources for preparing tax returns
  • Join a breakout room following the workshop to connect, learn and share
Saturday, November 12, 10:00 AM – 12:00 noon

Addressing Cultural Issues in Parenting Styles

  • A two-hour online workshop focused on better understanding the culture and the legal implications of parenting in Canada
  • Learn how to remain respectful of newcomers’ parenting styles while helping them understand child protection in Canada
  • Acquire tools to open the conversation about family dynamics
  • Join a breakout room following the workshop to connect, learn and share
Information-sharing

We share specific information with Network participants through regular emails. When you have something that might benefit others, you are encouraged to send it to info@refugeesponsornet.ca, and we will pass the information along to members.

Problem-solving

If you are looking for a mentor, or someone who has direct experience with a specific challenge you are facing, let us know by sending an email to info@refugeesponsornet.ca.  We will do our best to connect you with a member who can help.